This Girl Scout Alum Learned a Surprising Truth, 30 Years Later

Learning the Truth, 30 Years Later

Camping

 

When 40-year-old Evelyn Adele looks back on her campouts as a Girl Scout growing up in Detroit, she has only fond memories. Memories of sleeping bags, making finger puppets in the shadows, and working toward outdoor badges.

Recently, however, she learned that when her predominantly Black Girl Scout troop went camping, the troop leaders and mothers took turns staying up at night to keep watch, since the Ku Klux Klan was active in the area where the camp was located and they wanted to make sure the girls were safe.

Evelyn Adele Alum Photo

“To me, a little girl somewhere between the ages of 8 and 12, camping was simply summertime fun. To our mothers, camping was potentially dangerous,” Evelyn explains. “But they wanted us to have all the experiences Girl Scouts have. They also had a duty to ensure our physical and emotional safety. So they stood watch—all night. In the ’90s.”

Her story—of how brave mothers and troop leaders protected not only their girls’ safety but also their innocence—is an eye-opening must-read for any Girl Scout with fond memories of campfires and s’mores. You can read Evelyn’s account in her own words on Medium.

Here at Girl Scouts, we want to help build a better, safer world for girls. We’re taking steps with our leadership and staff, volunteers, and girls to create a more equitable environment for all. Learn more and sign our pledge to join us in our commitment to fighting racism.

*Evelyn Adele is a pseudonym.